Weekend Eats

Vacation calories don’t count, right? My husband and I spend much of our time at my parents’ mountain house in Northeast PA.  During the winters we hike, ride the toboggan slide and play scrabble in front of the wood stove while we spend the summer hiking, lounging on the beach and stargazing on the deck with a glass of wine in tow. We went up there last weekend and I started what I hope will be the first of many pictorial presentations entitled “Weekend Eats.”

We spent Friday night in Philadelphia, honoring the life of an amazing man who was taken too soon. We awoke early Saturday morning and raced up the turnpike, arriving just in time for lunch.

What better lunch for a cold and chilly weekend day than tuna melts, chips and hot chocolate. We spent the rest of the day laying around, although Jewels hogged most of the heat.

For dinner that night, we had a nice steak, salad with a roasted tomato vinaigrette and rice pilaf. Here are the steaks sizzling in the pan before we finished them in the oven. Beautiful.

Meanwhile, I roasted the grape tomatoes with some garlic and swirled them with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic. I tossed the finished mixture with chopped romaine hearts.

When we pulled the steak from the oven, I made a quick pan reduction with some red wine and butter.

The finished product.

The next morning, we headed to Dushore for a breakfast at Kathy’s Cafe. You may remember my original post about Kathy’s, including their coveted scromlet. I tend to order the same scromlet each time I’m at Kathy’s, but I figured I’d switch it up a bit and went with “The Original Scromlet,” which is a combination of eggs, hash browns, breakfast meat (I went with local bacon) and velveeta. Swoon.

My husband got the same, but he also went with one of their fresh squeezed apple juices. Check out that color!

We left with a pint of tomato bisque to go, figuring it would go nicely with our lunch later. In the meantime, we had a busy afternoon walking across a lake.

…and checking out the progress on the toboggan slide. It’s ready to roll! (or ready to slide, if I may.)

When we got back to house, we fired the stove back up and had a bite. I had the rest of my scromlet (love leftovers!!!) and half the soup. I fixed a turkey sandwich for the mister.

Jewels got to lick the tomato soup container. She was quite pleased. Check out the tomatoey stains on her snout. They stayed there all weekend long.

Just one more taste, mom? Pleeeease?!

After some much-needed down time after our vigorous walks (walking across a frozen lake covered in 8 inches of snow is a serious workout!) I got dinner started. Roast chicken is one of our go-tos and we did a modified beer can chicken in the oven and tossed some cauliflower in the bottom of the dish. I didn’t get a picture of the original bird but it cooked up quickly with a nice, crisp skin.

On our way home we made sure to stop at Hillside Dairy just outside Wilkes Barre, PA and return our empties for some new gallons of “Hillside Gold” Skim Milk. If you’re not a skim drinker, check out Hillside Gold and you’ll be converted.

The best part about the whole weekend? We didn’t have lunch on Monday before we headed home so I got an early dinner at Vietnam Cafe when we got back to Philly. Woohoo!!!

Kathy’s Cafe

My family has been vacationing in Eagles Mere, a small mountain town in Pennsylvania nicknamed “the town that time forgot,” for over twenty years now. We began coming when I was a wiry tomboy who rode my bike recklessly to the beach and athletic field during the day and the ice cream and penny candy shop, The Sweet Shop, at night. Each year the five of us spent the first two weeks of August biking, swimming, hiking and competing in a “sports week” in which there were various semi-competitive events such as chin ups, nail driving and cannonball contests. As I grew older, the summers were spent sleeping the day away and learning how to be a teenager at night….whatever that entails…

In my early twenties, my parents made the impulsive decision to purchase a house in Eagles Mere. Suddenly we moved up a notch in the world–we were no longer renters, we were owners. Now we were a few steps higher in the local pecking order. Ever since they bought the house, we have had the opportunity to experience Eagles Mere throughout the year rather than solely the first two weeks of August. We have been there for snow storms and beautiful autumn breezes and have enjoyed many games of Scrabble before the heat of the wood stove. In June 2009, my husband and I celebrated our love for one another and for this special place as we had a memorable wedding weekend in Eagles Mere.

Planning a wedding in Eagles Mere could only be described as a unique experience. While I live in Philadelphia, a metropolitan city in which I need not look far for anything I need, all of our wedding vendors were located in the nearest “big town,” which was 45 minutes away. Williamsport is known for the Little League World Series, which, coincidentally, culminated this weekend.  Congratulations, Japan.

On the way to Williamsport is the small, blue-collar town of Hughesville, Pennsylvania. About two years ago, my parents mentioned that they had heard about a little cafe in Hughesville that served up unique, organic fare. They checked it out and we were intrigued yet skeptical when they mentioned that my dad had enjoyed a shot of wheatgrass. Folks don’t eat or drink wheatgrass in Northeast, PA, home of “Welcome Bowhunters” signs and hunters’ breakfast specials. However, my parents enjoyed it and we decided to check it out. Well, I don’t really remember our first meal there, but I will say that we now try to visit Kathy’s Cafe each time we’re in Eagles Mere.

I have an admission to make. I’m a mixer. I love eating a number of food items mixed together into an unidentifiable and toothsome glob. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving leftovers is taking a little mashed potatoes, coleslaw, gravy, corn and a splash of cranberry sauce and mixing it all up for breakfast the next morning (or maybe a little late night snack.)  Kathy’s has embodied this secret love of mine in breakfast form and it’s called the Scromlet. The etymology of “scromlet” is pretty decipherable. It’s a mix between a scramble and an omelette. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  The scromlet is comprised of two eggs scrambled with hashbrowns and veggies and topped with cheddar cheese. I should clarify that I am referring to the “Sarah Scromlet,” which I order every single time I visit Kathy’s–including twice this weekend.

Kathy’s is fashioned to look (and sound) like a 1950s soda fountain. The booths and chairs and red vinyl and the walls are decorated with posters and albums from the era including Elvis, The Beach Boys, Marilyn Monroe, The Platters and Sam Cooke. They also have a number of license plates from various states that, coincidentally, all have our wedding date on them.

I was in the mood for poached eggs on Friday but chose to abstain because my parents would be coming into town and I knew I could talk my dad into making his famous poached eggs for breakfast Saturday morning (I ended up going to Kathy’s again, but that’s another story.) I ended up ordering the Sarah Scromlet and wondering why I even bother looking at the menu.

Kathy’s is a bit of a dichotomy (or tri/quadotomy) While it presents itself as a 1950s cafe, the the menu is full of fresh and local ingredients. The waitresses are old and slow, yet extremely friendly, although I’ve heard a mispronunciation of the word “heirloom” more than once.

Kathy’s also lists the source of many of their ingredients without looking pretentious as many restaurants tend to do. I ordered the Landis farm turkey sausage (okay, I order that every time too.) My husband ordered a glass of the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice because they were out of apples. The only problem that arises in ordering these fresh squeezed juices is the fact that they actually are fresh sqeezed. If there’s only one waitress on duty and the table in front of you orders a  juice–worse yet, FOUR juices–don’t expect coffee any time soon.  Luckily, we were the only ones ordering juice and our drinks and food came quickly. The Sarah Scromlet was as good looking (and tasting) as ever.

I’m a really nice mom because I always take home a hunk of sausage to my dog, Jewels, even though I could demolish the entire patty myself. My husband had the original scromlet with eggs, hashbrowns, ham and velveeta cheese. This is the truth.

I cannot even begin to describe the pleasure of biting into a scromlet. Imagine all the best things about breakfast. Now imagine them together. Then make it taste a little better. There’s a scromlet. If you are ever, ever in the area of Hughesville, PA, Kathy’s Cafe is a do not miss.

p.s. When I went with my mother the next day, she told the waitress that I was writing a blog post on Kathy’s. The waitress didn’t know what a blog was. Did I mention how much I love this place?